Alleged loopholes in regulation gives certain bookies major advantage over competitors.
Representatives of bookmakers have argued that the Interactive Gaming Act puts them at a disadvantage while failing to control betting on sports in Australia.
Cormac Barry of Sportbet complained that gaps in regulation were causing licensed Australian bookmakers to lose business to overseas operators. While Sportbet operates strictly domestically (and is subject to heavy regulation) its rival Betfair has an international platform, allowing it to sell services illegal in Australia to overseas customers.
According to Australian gambling laws, online “in play” bets, those made after a sports match has begun, are illegal. However, Betfair is able to earn revenue by making these bets to overseas customers. In addition, these bets can be made by telephone.
Sportbet hopes to close regulatory discrepancies
Barry complained: “once again shows the Interactive Gambling Act does nothing to control betting on Australian sport and only serves to put licensed Australian wagering operators at a competitive disadvantage.”
Sportbet has lobbied the parliament to alter the gambling act to close what it sees as unfair loopholes. These include the ability to make in play bets via telephone, and to serve overseas customers, which Sportbet does not do.
The $591 total bet made with Betfair can be taken as evidence that the company is much better able to serve customers than Sportbet, rather the result of unfair regulation or not.